Avery Bradley, Warriors Reportedly Agree to Contract in NBA Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2021

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 27: Avery Bradley #9 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 27 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Robert Seale/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Veteran guard Avery Bradley agreed to a contract with the Golden State Warriors on Friday, according to Shams Charania and Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Slater noted Bradley will compete for the final roster spot in training camp.

Charania reported on July 31 the Houston Rockets were declining his $5.9 million option for the 2021-22 NBA campaign. It was a mutually beneficial move since the Rockets could use that money elsewhere, and Bradley was freed up to sign with a playoff contender.

The 30-year-old is coming off a disappointing season. Between his time with the Rockets and Miami Heat, he averaged 6.4 points and 1.7 assists in 27 games. He also shot 32.7 percent from beyond the arc, his lowest clip since 2012-13.

He had played well in a reserve role with Miami (8.5 points per game; 42.1 percent on three-pointers), but his midseason exit was inevitable as he had battled a right calf strain that proved troublesome.

That injury, along with the fact that the Rockets went on to finish 17-55, can likely help explain why Bradley's production fell so sharply in Houston.

The two-time All-Defensive standout opted out of the NBA restart at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida, so he wasn't on the team when the Los Angeles Lakers when they lifted their 17th title. Prior to the NBA suspending the 2019-20 season, he had provided exactly what Los Angeles had been looking for.

Bradley shot 36.4 percent from three-point territory, and on the other end of the floor, he held opponents to 40.6 percent overall and a paltry 24.6 percent from long range, per NBA.com.

Especially with the emphasis on spacing the floor in today's game, three-and-D players will always be coveted by teams with championship ambitions.

The days of Bradley as a somewhat high-volume scorer are probably gone. He averaged 14.9 points between 2014-18, and his usage rate was 21.6 percent during that span, according to Basketball Reference. In the three years since, his usage rate has fallen to 15.8 percent.

That's what should make him such an effective presence in Golden State. He's content to work away from the ball and be a nuisance on defense, traits that will serve him well in the Warriors backcourt.

Klay Thompson is coming back but remains a big variable after having missed two full seasons. Even if he's back to his peak on the court, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr will probably be careful about managing his minutes.

Bradley provides some insurance behind Thompson, and he'll be able to spell Stephen Curry for stretches, too.